The Coast Guard decommissioned USCGC Decisive (WMEC 629) during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Thursday.
Vice Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony honoring the 55 years of service Decisive and its crews provided to the Coast Guard.
Commissioned in 1968, Decisive was the 15th of 16 Reliance-class medium endurance cutters built for search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction. It is the first 210-foot cutter to be decommissioned since USCGC Courageous (WMEC 622) and USCGC Durable (WMEC 628) in 2001.
“Decisive is a special ship that has served many districts throughout its history,” said Cmdr. Aaron Delano-Johnson, commanding officer of Decisive. “With a variety of high-performing Coast Guard members with distinguished careers, Decisive boasted some of the finest crews throughout its tenure. Decisive has been a fixture in all four of its homeports, remaining durable and dependable throughout history. I personally want to thank the crew for their dedication and service to our great nation as they were instrumental to upholding the cutter’s motto of being dedicated to duty.”
Decisive’s keel was laid on May 12, 1967, at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland. Decisive was launched Dec. 14, 1967, and commissioned Aug. 23, 1968. Following its commissioning in 1968, the ship was homeported in New Castle, New Hampshire. The cutter moved homeports several times during its tenure, including St. Petersburg, Florida and Pascagoula, Mississippi before its final assignment to Pensacola.
During the cutter’s last year of service, the sunset crew of 12 officers and 62 enlisted members conducted high profile operations including assistance in the repatriation of over 400 migrants in a week’s time while patrolling the South Florida Straits. Decisive’s crew assisted with a 200 person mass migrant transfer, the largest single repatriation effort at the time since the 1980 Mariel Boatlift.
“I am immensely honored being the final commanding officer of Decisive,” said Delano-Johnson. “As I pause and reflect, remembering the first time I saw the ship as a junior officer aboard a patrol boat in the Straits of Florida, the pride I feel commanding this ship is indescribable. To lead this sunset crew and watch them grow over the past year has been humbling and rewarding. I am grateful for their dedication and service and look forward to staying in touch and following their careers. While our business here is done, we will proudly carry on Decisive’s legacy of hard work and reliability.”
Decisive was one of the Coast Guard’s 14 remaining 210-foot, Reliance-class medium endurance cutters. As part of the Coast Guard’s acquisition program, the 360-foot Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters will replace the Coast Guard’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters. The offshore patrol cutters will provide the majority of offshore presence for the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, bridging the capabilities of the 418-foot national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154-foot fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore.